When the Bayfield High School volleyball team steps onto the court in Saturday’s Class 3A Region 11 tournament at Cedaredge High School, Mavis Edwards is ready to bring the Wolverines energy.
Bayfield (13-10) will enter the tournament as the No. 14 seed in Class 3A, and the senior right side hitter believes the Wolverines can match the intensity of a raucous road gym and clinch a spot in the state tournament.
“There’s a lot of energy on our team this year, and energy is a big thing,” Edwards said. “You could have the best season personally, but if your team is not anywhere close to or where you want it to be, then one person can’t make the whole difference. We have a good, young squad that has stepped up so many times this year, and I think we can do it again.”
Edwards, daughter of Paul and Vivian Edwards, leads the team in kills (227), kills per set (3.1) and total attacks (529). She also has Bayfield’s best hitting percentage at .285 and has recorded a remarkable 12 double-doubles.
While she knows other teams will key in on her this weekend, she believes the Wolverines have plenty of other attacking and defensive options at their disposal. She credited that to BHS and Four Corners Volleyball Club head coach Terene Foutz, who has a knack for developing the program’s younger players.
“Coach Foutz has done such a great job this year,” Edwards said. “She knows the quick little fixes, and you’d be surprised how fast and how well they work. I also see it at club level. She sees everything. The younger girls this season have been amazing. Thirty girls came out during summer workouts, and to me, that says something about the program and how good it’s getting.”
One prime example would be BHS’ next two leaders in attacking statistics. Annie Fusco and Emily Nelson are both only sophomores but have combined for almost 275 kills on the season. Even still, Foutz has called on Edwards, and she has answered the bell.
“She’s an invaluable part of our offense,” Foutz said earlier this season. “The way she helps our team is immense. She’s a fantastic senior leader and a really special player.”
The Wolverines senior has not always had it easy, though. She missed most of her junior season with a slightly torn labrum and also missed Durango High School girls tennis season last spring after she had finished as a state runner-up at No. 1 singles in each of her first two years in high school.
One year after intensive physical therapy and a lot of time in the gym, she is mostly back to where she was pre-injury. She also said she plans to compete in tennis again this spring.
“I did physical therapy and am hanging in there,” Edwards said. “If I ever have to take a few days off as a precaution, I will. (Foutz) has been great about it, too. Personally, I feel my vertical has gotten a lot higher. When I was hurt, I went to the gym every day because I had nothing else to do. I feel stronger and am jumping a lot higher.”
Edwards will put her final season with the Wolverines on the line Saturday when BHS will take on No. 11 Cedaredge (19-4) and No. 26 Buena Vista (13-9). Two wins will get Bayfield back to the state tournament.
With her injury behind her and the postseason ahead, Edwards took a look back at her freshman year in 2016 when the Wolverines last made it to the state tournament held at the Denver Coliseum. She said there are similarities to this year’s team and believes they have what it takes.
“I think a big thing is our mental state,” Edwards said. “Our energy has to be constant. We talk about roller-coasters a lot with our energy and attitude. I just want to be steady, we work really hard for that. The energy you put out is either positive or negative. I think the key will be to feed off of the energy in the gym, and not get our heads down. If they put down a big kill, I know that we can create our own big kill. We work really hard for that constant, steady positive energy and attitude.”